Waving the Flag (for Pronghorn) The Native American trick to attracting Pronghorn

 

When I was younger read stories of how some of the Native American Plains Tribes used the technique of “flagging” to lure Pronghorn into bow/musket range. This Technique plays on the Pronghorns fantastic eye sight (rumored to be similar to 8X binoculars) and sense of curiosity. The technique was very simple, they would use a stick and a brightly colored piece of cloth to lure the curious Pronghorns close. 

"Antelope Shooting" by George Catlin depicting an Assinneboine hunter using a flag

So last year I decided to give it a shot. Worst case scenario I could add it to my list of things to I have tried and will never try again (like Vegemite).  The day before my trip I used the following materials to construct my flag: A tent pole, a retired pillow case and, of course duct tape.  

"Flagging Antelope" By Russell 1898

"Flagging Antelope" By Russell 1898

The next day my favorite 10 year old hunting companion and I headed to a box canyon that reliably seemed to hold onto Pronghorns. Within the first 15 mins we had found a group of Pronghorns that had a couple of bucks but they found us at about the same time.  Some went out the mouth of the canyon and a group of 4 bucks decided to go up and over the other side of the canyon. So we waited until the group of bucks had cleared the hill (and line of sight) and hastily crossed the valley behind them. At the top we spotted the bucks around 400 Yards (marginal shot with my skills) and walking steadily away from us and towards private land. I threw off my pack and pulled the flag out, put the pole sections together and had my partner hold it while I used my pack to find a good prone position. To my amazement it worked! They not only stopped but turned broadside to get a better look at the strange object up on their hill. I was able to put that buck on the ground and I will be adding a flag whenever I am lucky enough to draw a Pronghorn tag in the future. 

Ready to go to town

Ready to go to town

Don’t forget to start the timer for perfectly aged Pronghorn Steaks

Don’t forget to start the timer for perfectly aged Pronghorn Steaks



Flag Making Instructions:

This is about as easy as gets, and likely made from things you already have

Expected Cost $0 -$10(If you have to go to the thrift store)

Expected time 20 min

Materials Needed:

  1. Tent Pole (no need to buy one it will not be modified)

  2. Pillow Case

  3. Duct Tape

Proceedure:

  1. Grab a pole out of your Tent bag.

  2. Cut a section out of the Pillow case into roughly 1' X 2' rectangle

  3. Duct Tape it to the Pole

Note: I used duct tape to secure the cloth to the end of the tent pole because at the end of the trip the poles go back to the tent bag.